Stretches and the Tailbone


Your coccyx, or tailbone, is located at the very end of your spine and is surrounded by muscles essential to the movement of your hips, pelvis and legs. If not exercised on a regular basis, these muscles can become stiff, such as after a day of sitting at the office or in front of the TV. To keep these muscles loose and limber, practice a variety of stretches targeting the area around your tailbone.

Stretching is a preventive measure against stiffness around your tailbone.
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Your piriformis muscle is located on the lower spine near the sacrum. This small muscle may seem insignificant, but it aids in the movement of your hip and thigh bones. If this muscle becomes tight, you can experience pain in your legs and lower back. Stretch this muscle to keep it loose and limber. One way to stretch your piriformis is to sit with your legs straight out in front of you on the floor. Bring your right leg to your chest and hug it while keeping your back straight, then switch legs.

Your gluteus maximus muscle connects to your tailbone, pulling on it with each step you take. If you are experiencing tightness as you take those steps, the cause may be found in your glutes. Limber up the gluteus maximus with stretches such as the squatting glute stretch. While standing and keeping balance by holding on to a bar or fixture, cross your right leg over your left upper leg, or thigh. Bend your left knee and move your hips back to bend forward into a squat. You should feel the tension of the stretch in your glutes. The towel glute stretch can also lengthen and loosen your glutes. Use a towel to increase the tension of the stretch. Lie on your back, crossing your right leg over your left. Your knee should be pointing outward. Take a towel and wrap it around the back of your left thigh. Gently pull your legs toward you with the towel just until you feel the stretch in your gluteal muscles.

Stretching your abdominal muscles through exercises such as the Bridge can have a positive influence on your tailbone, stimulating blood flow through the spine and into the coccyx. To perform the Bridge, lie down on your back with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground. Lift your torso to the sky at your hips. Hold the position for one minute. This type of exercise will keep your spine supple, your glutes toned and your tailbone happy.

Yoga is a great way to relieve undue tension in your muscles. Certain yoga poses can target the muscles surrounding your tailbone, including the glutes and upper leg muscles. The Seated Wide-Angle pose particularly targets tight thighs, hamstrings and lower back muscles by lengthening muscles all the way down to your tailbone. Sit with your legs open at about 110 degrees. Bend at your hips and try to get your chest down to the ground. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and release.

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